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Duoming Ba



Violinist Duoming Ba joined the New York Philharmonic in 2003. Previously, she was a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles at Merkin Concert Hall, and has been a participant in numerous music festivals, including the Sarasota Music festival. She is also an active soloist and chamber musician, performing in cities in the United States and abroad. Ba has won numerous violin competitions and awards, including the summer music festival concerto competition at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, and the North Shore Music Center concerto competition.

Born in Beijing China, Ba began playing the violin at age five. A three-time first-prize winner of Beijing's Junior Violin Competition, she entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1989. While there she was invited to attend a music festival and competition in Okayama Japan in 1994, and was granted the top prize. She made her solo debut at age 15 in the Beijing Concert Hall with the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, later touring with that orchestra to Malaysia and Singapore as soloist. She came to the United States in 1996. In the summer of 1998, she performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Santa Barbara Festival Orchestra, conducted by Tomas Sanderling, at the Lobero Theatre.

Ba graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music in 2002 as a student of Joseph Silverstein. Previously, she studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Roland Vamos and Almita Vamos, and in China with Zhong-Long Sheng. She is an alumna of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy.

I came to the U.S. by myself at 17 to attend high school. It was very scary. I didn't speak a word of English.

Interview With Duoming Ba

THE FACTS: Born in Beijing, China. Graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a student of Joseph Silverstein; studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Roland and Almita Vamos. Prior to the Philharmonic: New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. At the Philharmonic: Joined September 2003.

WHEN DID YOU BEGIN PLAYING VIOLIN? At age five. There was a newspaper ad for violin lessons. It was 1983, and quite rare in China at that time. We had a violin at home, and my father has always loved music and wanted me to learn an instrument. Studying was difficult, though. We had to travel two hours each way to the city, and the lessons represented a large part of my parents’ salary, but my father sees education as the most important thing for his children. The first piece of music I fell in love with was Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3.

HOW DID YOU HAPPEN TO COME TO THE U.S.? I was performing Tchaikovsky'’s Violin Concerto with the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. A Chinese businessman saw me and sponsored an Asian tour of the orchestra, with me as soloist. He loved music and had studied the violin, and wanted to sponsor my education in the U.S. I came here by myself at 17 to attend high school. It was very scary; I didn’t speak a word of English. I went to study at the Oberlin Conservatory and stayed with my violin teacher, who had six other students living under the same roof. I learned English from talking to them.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE? My teacher Joseph Silverstein. He taught me to think about what it means to be a musician. Up to that point, my main goal was always preparing for or winning the next competition. He showed me that being a musician is not just about setting records, it’s about playing with my hands and my heart for the rest of my life.


DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE CHANGED SINCE YOU JOINED THE ORCHESTRA? I think so. I used to think that an orchestra job was easy, but I must admit that I have learned through the years that it is difficult.

WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR JOB? Maintaining a positive attitude while working with different music or conductors

IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Piano. I studied the piano for eight years but I have no talent for it.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Spend time with my two young sons

As of April 2010

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